Eureka's coach has fond memories of Ellison

Posted by Staff Writer Eric Branch:
Before he was in pursuit of a section title, Eureka’s Garett Montana was a coach seeking something far simpler: A win.
On Oct. 6, 2006, Montana came to Petaluma as a first-year coach whose 0-4 team had been outscored 184-20.
And after the Loggers beat Petaluma, 39-7, Friday in the NCS Division II semifinals, Montana remembered how Trojans coach Steve Ellison treated him three years ago.
When I told Montana I worked for the Press Democrat, Montana politely ignored my first question about the game and began talking about Ellison.
“My hats off to coach Ellison,” Montana said. “I have tons of respect for the man. I almost feel bad that his season had to end like that. I look up to him a lot. He had words for me when I was a first-year coach (in 2006) and I brought a cruddy football team down here. He had some great words for me before the game. He’s a very good man.”
Ellison, 65, talked to Montana in 2006 about building a program and about the importance of finding a system and sticking with it. Evidently Montana listened.
Eureka lost that game to Petaluma, 41-14, to drop to 0-5. But the Loggers won three of their last five games that season and have a 26-14 record since.